Kodiak firefighters work to douse the flames at the Baranof Park ice rink early Wednesday morning. Kodiak Police Department photo. There are photos of the aftermath after the jump.
An unknown amount of damage was caused by an arson set fire at Baranof Park early Wednesday morning, and Kodiak Police are seeking help identifying the culprits.
The building that houses the ice rink was set on fire, damaging a sizeable portion of the south wall.
Parks and Recreation Director Ian Fulp said there are still a lot of unknowns as to the full amount of damage.
An unidentified city official documents the fire damage at Baranof Park this (Wednesday) morning. Brianna Gibbs photos
"I don’t know what the extent of the damage is, but it could be considerable, because the ice skating refrigeration coils are just about three quarters of an inch below the surface. And so if that concrete heated up and damaged those coils so that the concrete has to be broken out and coils repaired, that’s going to be very costly,." Fulp said. "It looks like sport court flooring as far as 50 feet away needs to be replaced. The gerts that hold the fiberglass panels that form the upper wall are bent, the fiberglass panels that got bent will have to be replaced. We don’t know what the condition of the columns is, the beams above the columns. We don’t know what the condition of the roof is, and how much heat it took. But the roof was white, not it’s entirely black."
Police Chief T.C. Kamai said 911 received a call around 3:52 a.m., notifying them of the fire. He said it’s very likely that the blaze could have engulfed the entire building had the call not been made. The police department has confirmed the fire as an act of arson, but at this point have no suspects.
"We don’t have any suspect information and part of why the officers were going door to door in the neighborhood was if anybody by chance someone in had seen or heard anything that might help in the investigation. This was a crime and if it was intentionally set at this point we’re going to need the community’s help to bring the person or persons to justice on this."
He said the Kodiak Fire Department has taken over the forensic side of the investigation to answer how the fire started.
"The fire department, they have some trained arson investigators and they’re looking at it and trying to determine that information, as well as what might have been the cause. So we’re going to have to give them a little more time and hopefully they can provide us with a little more information."
Kamai said it appears some sort of accelerant was used, but he cannot be sure until the investigation is complete. He said the timeline for that is unknown, but he asks anyone with information to contact the police department or confidential crime stoppers line.